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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  April 14, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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maybe here and there some loud bo booing. but he will be a presidential candidate, a proud and serious one. if it's not too old-fashioned to say so, he'll be a man. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. today, democrats in the senate saved planned parenthood, and they saved president obama's health care reform law, after democrats in the house saved john boehner. >> we want to hurt people's grandparents. we're against families who have children with autism, and we don't want kids to go to college. how do you have a serious debate about this? and that's his defense of the republican attack on the social safety net. >> i can't tell you how disappointed i was in what the president had to say. speaker boehner has to defend his deal to keep the government running to his own party. >> sneaker boehner needs democrats to pass this year's cr budget.
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>> is it perfect? no. and do we need to cut more? absolutely. it eliminates one program. >> i feel no ownership of that or any responsibility to it. >> well, welcome to divided government. after democrats save the republican speaker's budget deal, republicans resume their war on women. >> advance taxpayer funding of abortion in the district of colombia. >> it's clear that republicans do not support family planning, cancer screening, and hiv testing. >> this is an organization that has protected those who prey on our children and has protected those who rape our granddaughters. after giving republicans most of what they wanted this year, democrats now insist they will stop the republican agenda for next year. >> come up with a fairer proposal than the ryan budget. >> the ryan budget sets the bar for the debate going forward. >> the sooner he abandons the tea party the sooner we can have a compromise.
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>> paul ryan proposal does end medicare as we know it. >> no plan to end medicare as we know it will never, ever pass the senate. >> republicans are going to destroy medicare if they get their way. and just when you thought the donald trump thing couldn't get uglier, there's this. >> i have a great relationship with the blacks. >> i just want to reply to the donald trump thing. >> i have always had a great relationship with the blacks. >> terrence malone to you. little black boy with blue eyes, and he had to go like this. good evening from new york. after a decade of republicans burning up a trillion dollar surplus and replacing it with the biggest deficit in history, a republican speaker brings the biggest single year budget cut in history to the floor of the house of representatives cutting programs dear to democrats, like limiting reproductive rights in
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washington, d.c. and the only way that bill can pass is with democratic votes. so the democrats deliver twice as many votes as the republican speaker needed, and the big passes 260 to 167. just before the vote, speaker boehner went to the floor to plead his case, not to those democrats who were ready to cast this compromise vote, but to the 59 republicans who were about to vote no. >> is it perfect? no. i'd be the first one to admit that it's flawed. well, welcome to divided government. i can tell you the negotiations that went on over the last four or five weeks. they weren't easy. especially when you've got another body on the other side of this capital that doesn't want to cut spending. and clearly administration that doesn't want to cut spending. but i'll tell you that this is the best we could get out of divided government.
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boehner's job made much more complicated today by the congressional budget office, which has a shhistory of making things complicated when too many gimmicks are squeezed into the bill. their report on the boehner read obama bill said the reduction in the real scheduled spending for the rest of 2011 will not actually be the much celebrated $38 billion, but something significantly less. how much less? about 99% less. $352 million, to be exact, according to cbo. this new calculation is based on the fact that so much of the so-called cuts come from government reserve funds that the government was not scheduled to spend anya in the remainder of the year, and from money left over from projects the government has already completed, like the 2010 census. cbo also calculates as is customer that much of the spending still authorized for this year will never actually
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occur. so cbo is saying that the amount of spending that would actually occur in 2011 amounts to only $352 million less than what was going to occur in this year. still there was no definition of the cut package that could impress house democratic leader nancy pelosi after she was left out of the negotiations with president obama, center harry reid, and speaker john boehner. >> i have always thought that if he didn't have enough votes, if he didn't get to 18 on his own, that there would be democrats who could help put it over the top. i feel no ownership of that or any responsibility to it, except that we don't want to shut down government. >> not surprisingly, nancy pelosi was not one of the democratic votes that helped john boehner pass his bill. but the number two democrat in the house of representatives, democratic whip danny hoyer, saw
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his responsibility differently. >> the priorities that we have agreed to in this resolution are not my priorities. but we have reached agreement. we are about to embark after we pass this piece of legislation a critical debate on the differences we do have in the priorities of this country. very substantive, deeply held beliefs on the differences that exist between our two parties. pass this resolution, keep our government functioning, and come together to debate the real priorities of this country in the next bill. and so the government the democrats built and the republicans are intent on dismantling by denying that government the money it needs to run will not shut down. and in the house of representatives at least, a republican speaker takes credit for keeping the government that
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his party has come to hate running for the rest of the year. boehner's problem in his first months as speaker of the house has not been with the opposition party. the speaker of the house almost never has to consult with the opposition party or worry about it in any way. on most days, the house of representatives operates like a soviet style institution where the powerful can ignore the powerless and the minority party has absolutely no voice. boehner's problem this year has been the party within the party. the tea party. it was the tea party that deflected on boehner's vote today, and it is the tea party that boehner will need to pass his next budget bill in the house. joining me now is a tea party republican, congressman blake ther anfald, that represents the district that includes corpus christi. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you said you weren't sure how
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you would vote. how did you vote today? >> i went ahead and voted for it. i think you're in the right place in government when you've got both sides mad at you. you're about in the middle where most of the american people think you ought to be. >> what do you say to the 59 republicans who said this simply wasn't enough, this comped too much with the democrats, and the cbo revealed that it was filled with budget accounting gimmicks that means there won't really be the amount of spending cuts that the negotiators claimed there would be? >> oh, i think there are significant cuts there. i think they are of a historical level. and i agree there weren't enough cuts. but you have to realize we are only a part of the government, and we have got to compromise to go on. i think that this is an historic win. we need to claim our win and move on to where the real money is, which is the ryan budget and the path to prosperity. the thing that i had heard you talking about earlier, i really
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do want to tell my freshman buddies, is they voted with nancy pelosi against the budget. they might have a problem with that. >> i want you to listen to what president obama said yesterday about the republican position on the top tax bracket. let's listen to that. >> they want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that's paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs. that's not right. and it's not going to happen as long as i'm president. >> carson, why do you want to charge people $6,000 more to pay for a top tax bracket cut? >> i don't think we're charging anybody anything. we are flattening the tax rate and getting away from these -- >> but on medicare, your plan which is a very expensive plan
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to carry out, meaning expensive to the people who use medicare, you impose much, much higher costs on the people who use medicare. that's your plan for saving medicare spending, is by making the users of medicare pay much more. and what the president is saying is that the amount of money they need to pay matches the amount of money that will be then given back to top income tax pairs like the president. >> you see, i don't think that's true at all. >> it is true, congressman. >> there are no changes to medicare for people over 5. and we are looking at a plan to save medicare and medicaid that if left alone would go bankrupt in not a very short -- or not a very long amount of time. we are running out of time -- we're trying to save these things, not destroy them. >> congressman -- >> the math doesn't work. >> congressman, if you are the decisive vote on the debt ceiling increase in the house of representatives, will you vote
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for that increase? >> we're not there yet. we don't know what the terms and conditions are. as republicans, i think -- >> so it is conceivable to you that if you are the decisive vote, and this could come down to one vote, if you are that vote, you would be prepared if your conditions are not met to vote against a debt ceiling increase and have this government default on its debt for the first time in history? >> i don't think it's going to come to that. i think we're going to find a way. right now, the government pays all the bills at the same time. i think we can work around that so where we can set our priorities as to what we pay. but i think we're going to be able to come to a deal on this. this whole cr has set the stage for the fact that the republicans and democrats can work together. the president himself in his speech acknowledged the fact that we have got a spending problem. now the president and the republicans differ on how we're going to deal with it. but now that we're at least on the same page as to what the problem is, we can work together for solutions.
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>> congressman blake farenthold, one of congressmen already learning how to compromise. joining me now is former labor secretary robert rice from the university of california berkeley. the author of "aftershock the next economy & america's future" now available in paperback. what do you make of where the budget, given that the budget for this year has now passed the congress as it did this afternoon, going forward? what do you make of the possible prospects of president obama getting what he needs to get in a budget deal going forward? >> well, right now, lawrence, the president is really in a very good position. he has avoided the shutdown. and he has also smoked the republicans out with the paul ryan plan, which very clearly gets rid of medicare. i mean, getting rid of medicare, turning medicare over into a voucher system that funnels money, essentially voucher money, into the hands of private
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for profit eninsurers, is what e republicans want to see proposed. so the president comes in with his own plan that says, no, you're not going to do that. we're going to save medicare, and in order to make sure we can save medicare, we're going to raise taxes slightly on the most prosperous members of society, whose incomes and whose wealth have been increasing dramatically over the past 30 years anyway. this is a very easily understood 2012 campaign message. >> and the top tax rate now is already scheduled to go up, as all of the tax rates, all of the bush tax rates are scheduled to go back to the clinton rates in two years if we do absolutely nothing. might doing nothing actually become the official position of the president in his tax negotiations with the house of representatives? >> well, that certainly is the fallback, lawrence. that's the beauty of where the
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president is right now. the president can simply say, look, everybody has agreed we're going to extend these bush tax cuts for just two years, until we get out of the gravitational pull of the great recession. the wealthy are getting their bush tax cut as well. but now we're just going to let things go. and we're going to -- you know, if we can't reach agreement, then those extensions, the bush tax cuts for the wealthy, do expire. >> one of the evil geniuses of the bush tax brackets is that he actually on the bush brackets actually lowered the bottom bracket from 15 to 10. the lowest income tax payers had their goes down, and that's one of the things that many democrats feared the last time around, is that if we let the situation go on, it wouldn't just increase taxes at the top bracket, it would increase every single bracket, and especially that lowest bracket. might that be something this time around that the democrats actually have to consider doing? and what would be the effects if they did? if they had to allow that to happen? >> look, i think the democrats
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are in a great position right now, lawrence, to talk about tax reform in a way that is not just a flat tax. a way that just doesn't kind of undergird what the republicans have been saying about the tax reform, which is keep reducing taxes at the top, trust that there will be trickle down benefits for everybody. well, there haven't been. we have had trickle down economics for 20 years, and the middle class is no better off than they were. what the democrats can say is let's have a truly progressive income tax and a capital gains tax. let's not leave capital gains out, because the richest members of our society get most of their income through capital gains, and that's now at 15%, historically low. let's examine other taxes like for example the deduction. the home interest deduction. why should a wealthy individual that has a giant mansion be able, for example, to deduct $30,000, $40,000, $60,000 a year from the interest paid on the
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mortgage? democrats are now in a much better position to raise these kinds of issues. i hope they do. >> bob, we have officially changed the label of those things from tax expenditures on this show which i find too geeky for the audience, we are calling them tax spending from now on, and you and i are on the crusade for that one. robert, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up -- is there any way to compromise the obama budget plan with the ryan budget plan? and how serious is the threat by some on the right to actually refuse to raise the debt ceiling? senate budget committee chairman kent conrad is next. and rick santorum lifts his campaign slogan from a famous american poem that he obviously has never read. langston hughes was not exactly in the business of writing republican campaign slogans. that's in the rewrite. it hit helps the lhe of companipanies like the she smallestt
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sfliempt. the gang of six. senator kent conrad joins me next. and donald trump tries to stop the ratings slide of his of it show by revealing when he'll announce his fake run for president. [ jelani ] neither of my parents went to college.
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something that was drilled in me early on, you know, college is the place for you. it's my number one goal. ♪ students like me, who take these ap math and science classes and have these opportunities, this is where the american dream lies. when i write that book, you know, i plan to dedicate it to my school. ♪ those hopes and dreams that you have, you know, they're within reach. and i'm living proof. yesterday president obama called on congressional leaders to appoint a bipartisan commission composed ofight republicans and eight democrats to work with vice president biden to craft deficit reduction legislation based on the president's proposals. in normal times, the senator who knows the most about the federal budget would obviously be a member of that commission. but these are not normal times.
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senator harry reid said today that no member of the gang of six will be a member of the president's commission. that leaves out the senate's leading expert on the federal budget, the retiring senator from north dakota, kent conrad. joining me now, chairman of the senate budget committee, democratic senator kent conrald. thank you for joining me tonight, mr. chairman. >> always good to be with you. >> i don't understand how this group can work without you in the room. sure, joe biden running the group is a perfect choice for the white house. but i just don't get it. i can't imagine that room getting anywhere without you. >> well, it's kind of you to say. but you know nobody is irreplaceable around the united states senate and the house of representatives. and it's unclear to me what's going to happen to that group. but, you know, we just continue working away in this group of six trying to come up with a
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substantive proposal that through whatever means can get before our colleagues for their consideration. >> i mean, is the leader's thinking that it's better to leave chairman conrad working with this group of six, because that group is up and running and maybe it can make its own headway and let's create another group run by joe biden with bipartisan members? let's have two fronts going? is that the theory of this? >> i don't really know. what i do know is that i served on the president's commission where we have the only bipartisan plan that's emerged from any source, and that commission as you know got -- of the 18 members 11 to agree, five democrats, five republicans, and one independent. so i think in whatever form, that commission's work has to form the basis, because it is absolutely the only place that we have seen bipartisan agreement.
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>> senator, i don't have any doubt that they will be able to assemble the votes in the house of representatives. maybe i should, but i don't have any doubt they can put the votes together to pass the debt ceiling in the house of representatives. but what does exist in the senate on the debt ceiling increase is the possibility to filibuster. any one senator can stand on that floor when the clock is literally ticking down on a -- to a given midnight, as you and i know it does. there comes a moment when that clock strikes midnight, this country will be into default if we don't pass the debt ceiling. it is not hard for a senator to filibuster that, and make us crash through that debt ceiling. my first question about grant paul when he got elected on election night is would he do that. is it your sense that the republican members of the senate and the new tea party members of the senate understand the awesome power they have and that their ability to filibuster this thing could actually derail it,
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and that they might actually do that? >> certainly. and as you know, that would be catastrophic for the united states economy, and our standing in the world. interest rates would immediately spike. that would put economic growth on a downward trend, perhaps a sharp one. and we might not recover. i mean, that's how serious this all is. so look, we have got to take the steps necessary to assure that well before we face that drop dead moment that we have a plan in place to deal with the long-term debt. and i will say this to you. i have said to the white house and anyone else listening. there is no way there is going to be a long-term extension of the debt without a long-term plan to deal with the debt threat to this country. i have talked to dozens and dozens of colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
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it is absolutely clear that unless there is a long-term plan to deal with the debt, one that is on track, one that is going to be implemented, that there will not be any long-term extension of the debt. >> senator, do you actually think that a package that big could be negotiated and legislated in the time that's left before the debt ceiling must be increased? >> you know, lawrence, as always, you ask exactly the right questions. and i think it comes from your being a key staffer on the finance committee. you know how all this works. no, i don't believe you could have a finished product. what i do believe you could have is it a framework agreement that this is what we're going to try to accomplish, $4 trillion of debt savings. virtually everybody now agrees on that number. if you look at the debt commission, you look at the president's plan, you look at congressman ryan's plan, you look at what the group of six is working on, all of them are in the range of $4 trillion of debt
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savings over 10 years. done. most of them have agreed on a comprehensive approach, one that deals with spending and revenue. and i think you could have that kind of framework agreement. have a short-term extension of the debt until later this year, until the full legislative package was ready for consideration. i do think that's possible. >> senator kent conrad of north dakota, chairman of the budget committee. if there's going to be a deal, the broker is likely to be kent conrad. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> good to be with you. donald trump's attempt to keep his fake presidential campaign going may have hit a snag. he thinks he can keep his intentions a secret until his season finale on nbc. he cannot. i'll tell you why. and my next guest thinks bill clinton versus newt gingrich was junior budget battles compared to what barack
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obama is facing today. bob woodward is coming up.
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still to come this hour -- rick santorum decides to start raising money by using as his slogan a poem written by the poet laureate of the harlem renaissance. and between republicans who won't raise taxes and a real threat of default, president obama's road in 2012 looks to be
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harder than anything president clinton could have imagined. bob woodward joins me next. [ male announcer ] millions of men 45 and older
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to meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make
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reforms. we will all need to make sacrifices. but we do not have to sacrifice the america we believe in. and as long as i'm president, we won't. the day after president obama announced to the nation how he would cut government spending and increase in government revenue through increased taxation, he went to chicago in full campaign mode to raise revenue for his now official presidential campaign. president obama wants the top 2% of income earners to start paying more. tonight in chicago, many of those top 2% will be contributing money to the campaign of the man who wants to raise their taxes. before leaving washington, he made another pitch for raising money for the government. >> we can't exempt anybody from these efforts. it's not appropriate for us to ask for sacrifices from everybody except for the 2% of americans who are doing best, but rather we should ask everybody to participate in this
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effort to get our fiscal house in order. joining me now, author and associate editor of "the washington post" bob woodward. bob, i don't think i've seen anything like it. you wrote a book about president clinton's agenda in the first year where he created the top tax bracket that we are now talking about, he created that 39% bracket that barack obama would like to see us go back up to. it seemed like a very heavy lift at the time for president clinton to get that. it passed by one vote in the united states senate. and it seemed like, boy it doesn't get harder than this. i don't know what i'm looking at now. this situation that the president faces in trying to raise these rates or trying to get any part of his budget enacted, i just don't see the game plan for doing that. how does he do it? >> i agree with you. and if you go back to the clinton deal that he came up with, his -- you were up there,
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staff director of the finance committee, and you watched all of this go by. and clinton's proposal now seems so modest, and that was reduce the deficit by $500 billion over four years example the way he did it is simply half of that came from spending cuts and half came from tax increases. and as you pointed out, it passed by one vote in the senate, which the democrats controlled. they had 58 votes or something like that. and actually the vote on it, at the end, was a tie, 50 to 50, and the vice president then, al gore, had to cast the deciding vote in favor of it in. in the house, it passed by two votes. and i spent a year of my life watching this unfold, and it was armageddon. it looked like it was not going to work.
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it finally did in the end. and as we look back on the history of it, it worked marvelously to the extent that when clinton left office, he was going to leave a surplus, a giant anticipated surplus for the last decade. of course we know it didn't turn out that way. now we're talking about numbers $1.6 trillion in annual deficit. i mean, that is a magnitude that is almost impossible to imagine. at the same time, you've got republicans who i don't know how you're going to get votes from republicans to raise taxes. you say there's no game plan. as we know, politics is about leverage. how do you leverage republicans? what do you offer them in exchange for that? i can't see anything that is on the table. the other point is, you were
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saying you think in the house of representatives they will get the vote to extend the debt ceiling. you know, i don't think that's a slam dunk or a sure thing either. and you -- there are a group of new republicans who are just kind of laid this down as doctrine. we are not going to let this happen. we have to not just cut spending, strangle the federal government. so we're going into an era -- general petraeus in afghanistan talks about fragile and reversible. i think it applies to the economic fiscal situation that we're facing in the coming months. >> bob, my theory about the house may be being easier is that it will pass with a majority of democrat votes, and, you know, a minority of republican votes. >> it could. i mean, but it also -- you know, they have got high numbers, and
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they can just go in there and say, look, we're just not going to do this. >> yeah, they can. i want to go to a vote that senator obama cast that president obama now regrets that he did. let's listen to him talk about why when he was a senator he voted against increasing the debt ceiling. >> when you're a senator, traditionally what's happened is this is always a lousy vote. nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit for the united states by a trillion dollars. as president, you start realizing, you know what? we can't play around with this stuff. this is the full faith and credit of the united states. and so that was just a example of a new senator, you know, making what is a political vote, as opposed to doing what was important for the country. and i'm the first one to acknowledge it. >> bob, i knew senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what
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was important for the country. that sounds like it's going to make it a tough argument for him to make to new senators to cast that vote the way he didn't. >> well, it's not only that. but look at that moment in 2006. barack obama, highly educated, informed, a democrat from illinois, casting a vote against extending the debt ceiling. and he said it was only when he became president that he realized that it was important. you know, my god. people better realize that's important. i've heard some of the economists spin out the scenario if the debt ceiling is not extended, you could get a condition in this country where the average interest rate the federal government has to pay on that giant debt would be doubled, and just the act of kind of appearing or actually
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going to the brink on extending the debt limit, we'd be in big, big trouble. >> and no one could afford home loans, the housing market. anything purchased on credit. those industries would collapse fairly instantaneously. bob woodward, we'll have more doomsday scenarios on another night. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks. last night, rick santorum's new campaign slogan is from a poem from a man who stood for everything santorum does not. and donald trump is trying to pump up the ratings of his show by saying he'll make an announcement about when he'll make an announcement in the finale of his nbc show, proving that the fake campaign is all about his nbc tv ratings. that's coming up.
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stumped by the most basic question you could ask about the federal government. all right. maybe the second or third most basic. that's coming up. and a note to republican candidates like rick santorum. you might want to look somewhere other than the poems of langston hughes for your campaign slogans. that's going to be in the rewrite. so please go to our website. the last word, or my twitter, to suggest slogans for the fake trump presidential campaign. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro. [ male announcer ] from advances in medical imaging
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for tonight's "rewrite." another republican takes another baby step in the formalities of officially starting a presidential campaign. pennsylvania's former senator rick santorum, one of the fox news contributors suspended early last month because he was all too obviously running for president, returned home to make things semiofficial. >> i'm going to set up a committee to test the waters committee, called the rick santorum exploratory committee. >> we went to and discovered the slogan, fighting to make america america again, which might sound familiar to you, but is obviously familiar to democrats. john kerry used the slogan let america be america again, which as senator kerry knew is word for word the title of a langston hughes poem written in 1938. it is one of the many works of
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langston hughes that inspired this country's civil rights movement. to use today's political spectrum, langston hughes was somewhere to the left of dennis kucinich. in 2002, the postal service commemorated the life and work of langston hughes. since his death in 1967, his position in american letters has remained unfilled. when langston hughes wrote this poem, unemployment in america was almost 20%, more than double that for african-americans. rick santorum's view of america does not include langston hughes' america. a more appropriate slogan for a santorum campaign is more likely to be found in a pat boone song. here is a portion of "let america be america again" by langston hughes. let america be america again let it be the dream it used to be
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let it be the pioneer on the plains seeking a home where he himself is free america never was america to me i am the poor white i am the negro bearing slavery scars i am the red man driven from the land i am the immigrant finding only the same old stupid plan of dog eat dog of mighty crush the weak i left england's grassy lee torn from black africa's strand i came to build a homeland of the free the free who said the free not me surely not me the millions on relief today the millions shot down when we strike the millions who have nothing for our pay for all of the dreams we have dreamed and all the songs we've sung and all the hopes we've had and the flags we've hung the millions who have nothing
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>> i just want to reply to what the donald trump thing. donald, i got the certificate. [ laughter ] it ain't in hawaii. it was in brooklyn. come get it if you want to see it. >> really? you've got the certificate? >> i've got it. no one told donald trump there's an exam for running for president. hi, donald. i know you're watching. it's an oral exam, and it's given every day by reporters. time magazine revealed the
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depths of donaldy ignorance about the american government, a level of ignorance that wouldn't get him past the citizenship test and might raise questions about where donald was born. when asked the number of the house of representatives, he had absolutely no idea. no idea. he couldn't even venture a guess. couldn't come within 100 or 1,000 or 5,000. and i'm not going to tell donald he's a faithful viewer of this show. not going to tell him the answer to that question. let's just see if he can figure out how to use google. i am in no mood to help donald after what he said on a radio show today.
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>> that's the closest i can get to getting donald on the show. because getting donald on your show requires a certain amount of sucking up to donald and pretrending he is some kind of adult who deserves to sit in an adult show on your show, which i haven't been able to do. now there is probably no more than a month left in trump's fake campaign. nbc will announce its primetime lineup for next season here in new york on monday, may 16. trump obviously desperately needs the income from the only job -- the only paying job we know he has as a performer on nbc. it's on a show whose title i can never remember. like most americans, i've never seen it. but i did meet meatloaf on sunday, and he told me he's on it. so it's got to be good, right? since attacking bill cosby
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trump's ratings have collapsed for his show. if the downward trend continues, sometime before may 16th bob greenblat, the head of nbc entertainment, may have the exquisite pleasure of being the first person ever to say, donald trump, you're fired. which unfortunately for trump will leave him with no excuse not to run for president, except the truth that he is an ignoreamus about government and understand could afford to pay for a run. his hope is nbc's renewal of his show is the reason he cannot run for president and let down all of those people on his show that depend on him. like all trump's reason, they need only survive his particular logic hurdles, which obviously could not be lower. joining me now, msnbc contributor jonathan capehart, editorial writer for "the washington post." thank you for joining me. >> nice seeing you, lawrence.
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that is your name, isn't it? >> there's the joke of donald trump, and then there is the continuing, relentless ugliness of donald trump. i want you to listen to something else that donald trump said today on that same talk radio show. >> jonathan, go ahead. >> he doesn't have a relationship with me. i was listening to the radio show. and when he said that, my jaw dropped. and i instantly tweeted that quote with the hash tag, oh, really? a good relationship with the blacks. the blacks. way to go, donald. way to go. >> now this whole campaign he is running to pump up his ratings at nbc, it always leaks out, at least the day before the up fronts, which will be on monday, may 16, over the course of that weekend and starting around thursday, friday, nbc schedule starts to leak out. there are going to be plenty of hollywood agents who know whether or not donald is back in the schedule.
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so that will be the first prohibitive fact. if he is back on the schedule, which unfortunately for nbc seems possibly likely because the ratings on everything else they have is so terrible, they may hold on to him. although the good news that bob greenblat has no investment in donald since he wasn't part of the decision making that visited this horrible curse of donald trump on america through nbc programming. so, you know, we'll see what happens. but if he is cancelled, that will allow him to extend the phoning campaign for who knows how long before he has to quit because he obviously cannot afford to run for president. >> well, he has always said that he can't say whether he is running for president because he has this show on nbc, whatever it's called, and until the show is over, he will then announce his plans sometime in june. but, again, you know, donald trump, i think, and az weave
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discussed many times about, this is all about publicity and pumping up the ratings of that show whatever it's called and getting trump's name out there. and it's also not just the shows. remember his name is slapped on buildings all over the country. so all of this stuff, all of this talk, is about pumping up whatever business interests he has. >> now they floated earlier today that he was going to announce his intentions on the final episode of his show. which i just saw on the screen is actually called "celebrity apprentice" on nbc, much to nbc's disgrace. and he said that he was going to announce it on the final episode. obviously, people from nbc came down on him and said, you idiot, you cannot announce a political campaign one way or the other in our entertainment primetime schedule. you are not allowed to say a word about it. so they pulled back from that as the day went on. but go ahead, john. >> well, i was going to say,
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lawrence, maybe that part of the mad genius if you will of donald trump. >> you don't get to use the word "genius" with donald trump in any way. >> well, you didn't see it, it was below screen i did this. but the madness of it all is that by putting it out there, even if he dialed it back, everyone is talking about the fact that he's going to make some kind of announcement on the final airing of "celebrity apprentice." people are going to be waiting to see what he says. >> at what point -- >> guaranteed. >> at what point does donald trump cross the line for nbc and taken nbc's primetime programming into politics? he's already done that, hasn't he? >> sure, by giving interviews all over the place, talking about the president's citizenship, furthering the lies about whether the president is one, an american citizen, two, has his real birth certificate, which he has.


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